The Corporate Governance Framework
sets out our governance standards which are fundamentally about delivering our priorities, achieving our objectives, behaving with integrity and acting in the public interest. Governance is concerned with having in place appropriate structures and processes for directing and managing our organisation so that all stakeholders can be assured that the organisation is operating effectively and efficiently. It is about transparency, accountability and consistency, and about operating in a participative environment. The Framework is based on five high level governance principles that underpin the governance arrangements in the department as follows.
Good governance supports a culture and ethos which ensures behaviour with integrity, a strong commitment to ethical values and respect for the rule of law.
Good governance helps to define priorities and outcomes in terms of sustainable economic and societal benefits and to determine the policies and interventions necessary to optimise the achievement of these priorities and outcomes. It means implementing good practices in transparency, reporting, communications, audit and scrutiny to deliver effective accountability.
Good governance means developing the department’s capacity, including the capability of the leadership team, management and staff.
Good governance means managing risks and performance through robust internal control systems and effective performance management practices.
Good governance ensures openness, effective public consultation processes and comprehensive engagement with domestic and international stakeholders.
The following form part of the department's governance arrangements.
The department has an Audit Committee which forms part of its corporate governance framework.
It reviews and over-sees the work of the department's Internal Audit Unit and advises the Secretary General in relation to risks, controls and governance. The Committee operates under a written Charter signed by the Chairman of the Committee and Secretary General and within the DPER Guidance for Audit Committee Members.
The role of the Audit Committee is, as part of the ongoing systematic review of the business control and corporate governance processes within the department, to oversee and advise on matters relating to (a) the operations and development of the internal audit function and (b) the business control and risk management environment.
The membership of the Committee is six, four of whom including the Chairman, are external to the department.
The Internal Audit Activity is responsible for ensuring that a comprehensive programme of internal audit activity is carried out annually throughout the department. The purpose of this work is to provide assurance that controls and procedures are operated in accordance with best practice and with the appropriate regulations, and to make recommendations for the improvement of such controls and procedures. The Activity reports to the Secretary General and the Audit Committee and it conforms to the Audit Standards of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
and to the Standards and Ethics of the Institute of Internal Auditors. The scope of Internal Audit covers all activities and systems (including IT systems) throughout the department and bodies funded by the department.
The Department of Social Protection is committed to fostering an appropriate environment for addressing concerns of workers (staff and contractors of the department) relating to potential wrongdoing in the workplace and to providing the necessary support for workers that raise genuine concerns. The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 provides protections to workers who have submitted their concerns in the manner required by the Act.
The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 requires every public body to establish and maintain procedures for dealing with protected disclosures and to provide written information relating to these procedures to workers. The department's Policy and Procedures on Protected Disclosure Reporting is available here.
Policy and Guidance for Protected Disclosures Reporting
This document outlines the Department’s policy and procedures for dealing with disclosures by workers who have a reasonable belief that wrongdoing has occurred and/ or is ongoing i.e. protected disclosures.
Edition: September 2022
The department is committed to achieving value for money in the procurement of supplies and services; essential to support its work in providing a high-quality service to the public in a cost efficient and effective manner. Procurement by this department takes place in the context of Directive 2014/24/EU
and is supported by Procurement Guidelines published by the Department of Finance. The guiding principles are transparency and openness of competition. The department participates fully in on-going initiatives of the Office of Government Procurement
(OGP) focusing especially at achieving procurement savings, including the use of shared framework agreements for the provision of an increasing number of categories of supplies and services. The department is committed to facilitating access to procurement opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly those providing innovative solutions. All significant tenders are advertised on e-tenders as detailed below.
How we purchase
Procurement of goods and services by the department is on the basis of competitive tendering. Award of tenders without a competitive process is only permitted in exceptional circumstances and then only in conformity with criteria set down in Directive 2014/24/EU. The following are the tendering methods used having regard to the estimated value of the contract:
procurements above €25,000 are advertised on e-tenders
procurements above the EU defined threshold are also advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union and awarded in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2014/24/EU, as transposed into Irish law by the European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016.
for procurements under €25,000 quotations are sought from at least three providers
procurements are also carried out centrally, on behalf of this department, through the Office of Government Procurement
What we purchase
The following is a broad indication of the main areas in which the department purchases goods and services.
Communications and ICT Equipment and Services
Increasingly, the needs of Information Systems Division are met from the Office of Government Procurement central framework agreements. Such agreements are in place for the purchase of desktop computers, laptops, printers, and mobile phone services. Details of these arrangements may be viewed here.
The department has a requirement for other ICT services and equipment. Requirements are advertised on the e-tenders website as and when they arise.
Consultancy and IT External Service Provision
The department has occasional requirements for management consultancy services which may be needed to provide advice or specialised technical expertise which is not otherwise available to the department. This includes support relating to:
Stationery and office consumables are generally procured on the basis of centralised draw-down contracts awarded by the Office of Government Procurement,
including cleaning services, security services and waste management. Services may also be procured directly by the department from time to time, through competitions advertised on eTenders and OJEU.
How to access opportunities
It is department policy to use the government procurement website
when advertising tenders. Suppliers/service providers who are interested in monitoring potential business opportunities, should register on the e-tenders database so that they may be alerted whenever a tender of interest to their area of activity is published. Registration on the e-tenders suppliers database is free of charge.
Vendors interested in tendering for provision of goods or services which would not normally be advertised on e-tenders (below €25,000) should send their details to the addresses below:
Facilities Management Goods and Services
Facilities Management Unit, Department of Social Protection, Floor 1, Áras Mhic Dhiarmada, 1 Store Street, Dublin 1, D01 WYO3.
Communications and ICT Equipment and Services
Department of Social Protection, Floor 2, Gandon House, Amiens Street, Dublin 1
Payment of invoices
Payment of invoices by the department is governed by the Prompt Payment of Accounts Act, 1997
as amended by the European Communities (Late Payment in Commercial Transactions) Regulations 2002. The legislation provides for the payment of interest on valid invoices which are unpaid after 30 days from the date of receipt. The department complies with a further non-statutory requirement introduced by the government in June 2009 to reduce the payment period by central government departments to their suppliers from 30 to 15 days.